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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Nov 20;408(3):214-9. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Serotonin 2A receptor gene is associated with personality traits, but not to disorder, in patients with borderline personality disorder.

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Neurogenetics Section, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ont. M5T 1R8, Canada.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic, disabling, and high-risk mental disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in regulation of emotion, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and impulse control beginning in early adulthood. BPD affects about 1%-2% of the general population and has a high mortality rate as a result of suicide and impulsive behaviour. The serotonin 2A receptor gene (HTR2A) is considered a candidate gene for BPD because multiple lines of evidence suggest that it plays an important role in suicide, impulsivity and emotional liability. To test for an association between HTR2A and BPD, we genotyped four polymorphisms, rs6313 (T102C), rs4941573, rs2296972 and rs6314 (His452Tyr), in 111 Caucasian patients with BPD and 287 Caucasian healthy controls. The program UNPHASED was used to compare allele and haplotype frequencies between cases and controls. We did not find a significant association between HTR2A and BPD based on allele, genotype or haplotype analyses. However, there were significant associations between HTR2A and personality traits in the BPD patients. The C allele of rs6313 and the A allele of rs4941573 associated with a higher Extraversion score. Our results suggest that the serotonin 2A receptor gene may not play a major role in the aetiology of borderline personality disorder, but may have a role in personality traits.

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